The Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or the Vev in Creole is endemic to Seychelles, you cannot find this bird anywhere else on earth. Although it was once widespread on Praslin and all its surrounding islands, the Vev was restricted to La Digue, where it is quite common. 23 adult birds were translocated from La Digue to Denis Island in November 2008, with the hope of eventually establishing a population of 40-50 birds on the island. The first chick successfully fledged on Denis Island in 2009.
Birds have been seen on Marianne but it does not seem to breed there.
|Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher © Jeff Watson|
The Vev thrives in tall forest of native trees (takamaka and bodanmyen), especially on the plateau of La Digue. It feeds on insects, flying to catch them in mid-air or pick them from underneath leaves. La Digue has rats and cats and plenty of human activities but despite this, numbers of this bird have increased in recent years, perhaps because people stop killing them. The original goal was to increase the number of breeding populations to three, and to be able to reclassify the species from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Animals.
Scientific name: Terpsiphone corvina
Conservation status: Critically Endangered
Population in Seychelles: About 210-278 birds
Distribution in Seychelles: La Digue, Denis, Marianne, Curieuse
Habitat: Native forest
Nest: Small cup-shaped, built of fine pieces of casuarina, coconut fibre stuck together with spider webs, at the tips of down hanging twigs. One egg
Diet: Winged insects and spiders, caught in mid-air or picked from leaves
Identification: A small bird, males glossy back with long tail feathers, females and young with a shorter tail